Cloud for Manufacturing

As innovative manufacturers seek new ways to enhance product delivery, streamline operations, reduce risk, and maintain compliance, many turn to cloud computing and intelligent cybersecurity solutions to help them maintain their edge and elevate service.

While various technology advances have proven to provide efficient computing solutions and reduce costly network downtime for manufacturing companies around the world, each firm must evaluate their unique situation and the associated benefits and risks of technology investment before upgrading their work environment.

This guide will help you get started.

Increasing Efficiency & Automation

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The modern manufacturer is secure, efficient, and technology-driven. Advances in technology and changing customer behaviors are driving mobile experiences, data transfer security, SCADA system management and connectivity.

Cloud computing relies on centralized, hosted computers, servers, and telephone systems to provide you with time-saving benefits and costsaving efficiencies, including:

  • Mobility: Access your email, spreadsheets, payments, accounting systems, and payroll records from a laptop, tablet or mobile device from anywhere around the world
  • Security: Centralizing your server operations in the cloud through Microsoft Azure and Office 365 provides redundancy, access control, and security that individual workstations cannot provide
  • Convenience: Staff and customers enjoy a seamless experience from quoting, to fulfilling orders, to accessing account statements and new product information.

Case Study: Manufacturing Case Study

Problem: A manufacturing company engaged consulting services regarding their concerns for safeguarding the transmission of their highly sensitive data being sent via email. Email communication was a cornerstone of customer and vendor communication for their company and with the growing concerns of internet security, they were seeking a solution to protect the transmission of sensitive design documents for their products that could be reproduced, thus hurting the prosperity of their bottom line. While their users were reasonably technical and have had no major issues or breaches, they desired a proactive approach to circumvent this scenario altogether.

Proposed Solution: Office Message Encryption (OME) was proposed to the customer as a means to send sensitive data in email in a secure manner to the intended recipient. This feature was already made available to them via their current subscription and required no major investment other than implementation time and verification. The end user experience and process compared to other internal processes is not at all intrusive or alienating in nature and is very easy to use. The recipients can leverage Microsoft or work owned accounts to sign and receive this data, as no extra software is required for its use. And with Microsoft utilizing the highest grades of industry standard security, the solution is both ironclad and proven.

End Result: The client was happy to report that their data integrity had dramatically increased with the implementation investment of this feature. User habits were not significantly altered to leverage this feature and felt more secure with the sending of their sensitive company intellectual property to outside parties. This worked for them regardless of client platform being used and was not geographically concentric so whether in the office, on the road, or at home, this was being utilized. Their concerns for secure data transmission via email were eased and overall security was increased with minimal increase to resource footprint based on their decision to implement Office Message Encryption.

Empower Your Data With Microsoft

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Gone are the days when a complex manufacturing facility must rely on multiple expensive servers and providers to manage applications like email, phone, file storage, payroll, and accounting systems.

Your technology provider can offer flexible, flat-rate solutions that reduce hardware maintenance and empower your staff, including:

  • File Sharing: Share files and restrict access to specific users track views, and set time limits on accessibility, all from your mobile device, laptop, or workstation.
  • Security: Immediately restrict system access to terminated employees and counter parties, and add new users on a flexible licensing and computing plan, without having to wait for hardware deliveries, repairs, and setups.
  • Customized Support: Your technology provider can provide flexible support by leveraging partner relationships and worldwide engineering teams.

Is The Cloud Right For Your Firm?

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There are risks to migrating to a cloud computing platform. Primarily, your network’s speed and performance relies on the internet to perform. This means that you must have a speedy internet connection or the option to upgrade at an affordable rate.

You are also relying on third party providers to maintain and protect your systems in their data centers at a level that suits your performance and risk profile.

Explore Your Opportunities

When it comes to evaluating your firm’s performance needs, cost-savings opportunities, and benefits of technology investment and leveraging cloud computing, it is all about choosing the right technology partners to help you achieve your goals.

At our firm, we leverage over 20 years of technology expertise to help your CPA firm build an action plan, risk profile, and investment roadmap to assist in your decision.

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